NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Louisiana’s education chief says the Justice Department is attempting a “power grab” in a court case surrounding a state-funded private school tuition program.
John White said Tuesday the department wants to impose bureaucratic burdens on the voucher program. For instance, the department has asked that the state provide information on students it intends to assign to voucher schools 45 days before finalizing the assignments and notifying families.
Justice officials say they are concerned that vouchers — aimed at helping lower-income families get their children out of low-performing public schools — could alter racial balance in districts under longstanding desegregation orders. The state says evidence shows the program enhances desegregation.
A hearing is scheduled Friday on whether an existing desegregation order in a 1970s case requires court authorization for vouchers.